English club Leicester City hopes to tempt the Los Angeles Galaxy to release David Beckham for an unexpected loan deal with an offer worth around $2 million, Yahoo! Sports has learned.
In a bizarre twist of events English newspaper reports last weekend alerted Leicester's Thai owner Vichai Raksriaksorn owner to the possibility that Beckham may be available following the end of the Major League Soccer season.
Newspapers claimed that Beckham would be targeted by Leicester's new head coach Sven Goran Eriksson, who made the 35-year-old captain during his time in charge of the England national team.
However, a well-placed source told Yahoo! Sports that Eriksson had not seriously entertained the idea and had not made any approaches to either Beckham's representatives or the Galaxy.
But the stories served to pique the interest of Raksriaksorn and prompted him to make further inquiries. According to the source, he sees signing Beckham on loan ''as a way to boost morale and revenue and get people talking [about Leicester] for the right reasons.'' Leicester is just two points clear of the bottom of the Championship – the second tier of the English league system.
Beckham joined the Galaxy in 2007 and has embarked upon two loan spells at Italian giants AC Milan in a bid to be considered for inclusion in England's World Cup squad. That ambition was quashed when he ruptured an Achilles while playing for Milan earlier this year.
Raksriaksorn has been told by his advisors that there would have to be a serious incentive to convince Beckham and the Galaxy of the benefits of a loan switch. The Galaxy was already burned by the last time they released him – the injury sustained at Milan kept Beckham out for most of this MLS campaign.
However, a loan fee of close to $2 million – plus Leicester meeting Beckham's salary for the duration of the loan period – would at least give Galaxy's owners food for thought.
It remains to be seen whether Beckham would be interested in such an arrangement. Leicester's profile does not really fit with a man who has spent his career playing for some of the world's biggest clubs.
Being back in the English spotlight though, could only help Beckham's desire to remain part of the England national team set-up at it attempts to qualify for the 2012 European Championships.
England head coach Fabio Capello has given mixed messages on Beckham's international future but has spoken appreciatively of the positive impact the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star has on squad harmony.
Last month, Beckham was cool on the idea of another European excursion this winter, citing his health as the primary reason.
''I don't think so,'' when asked by FIFA.com whether a move was likely. ''I will never say never, but after my injury I really need to focus on getting my full fitness back. Physically I need to get myself back in order after a very long time out of the game. I can't say for sure but I guess we will just have to wait and see.''
Beckham has performed solidly since returning from his layoff though, with his physical progress slightly ahead of schedule.
In reality, Leicester is unlikely to be able to pull off what would be a spectacular coup. It is expected to make a firm offer this week, leave it on the table, and hope circumstances fall in its favor.